Wednesday 23 April 2014

for T

is for Townsville.

If you read my N is for Normanton post you would know that that was my first teaching post. I started there in Semester 2 on a contract. I replaced a teacher who had moved to another school to be the Acting Deputy. It wasn't long after I arrived that I was told I would be taking the Year 6 class on camp to Townsville for a week... arghhhh!!!

There I was, barely into my teaching career, barely into my 20s and having to take this group of kids who I barely knew 790km from home!! What. The. Fudge...

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't packing it. The previous teacher had started the process but it was essentially up to me to put the itinerary together, organise everything and somehow remain sane. Wanting to make sure I made a good impression and hope that they did not regret giving me the contract I did not make my apprehension known and luckily I did have support in the organising and the Principal attended the camp as well (side note: kids LOVE school camps but they are secretly a teachers worse nightmare!)

Some of the students had never left Normanton and for most, if they had it was only to Mt Isa, so going all the way to Townsville was a massive experience for a lit of them. I can still remember the excitement in their voices and squeals as we drove into Townsville as they say shops and places in 'real life' that they had only ever seen on the TV. I remember one girl yelling..."Miss...look der Miss" trying to work out what she was pointing at I really had no idea and said "what?? what can you see?"... "Look der Miss, der.." and then she promptly sand the "Bob Jane T-Mart" ad... It was these little moments that made me smile so much for I was the one that was there for this first time experience for so many of them.

Normaton is not far from the beautiful gulf town of Karumba which has some of the best sunset views of the ocean you will ever see. It is such a big tease of a place though as the beach there is gorgeous but of course due to crocodiles you cannot swim in the ocean. So the students were so wary of swimming in Townsville and on the day we went over to Magnetic Island and I had to do some serious coaxing for some of them to get into the water. Some of them got a little overwhelmed and started grabbing hold of me in the water as well for 'safety', but really, they almost drowned me! The lady doing the safety talk to the students on the ferry on our way over to Magnetic Island really needed to chose her words more wisely when she asked the students "when you jump off the ferry which side will you jump off?"...well that sent a shockwave through the group as they looked at me with gasps of, 'why do we have to jump off the boat? what about the crocs?'...I had to convince them that the lady was talking about, if there was an emergency.

We had 2 trips to the Hospital while we were there, the first was when a student was running around the caravan park where we were staying and wasn't paying attention where he was going and 'coathanged' himself on one of the clothesline, falling over and hitting his head. The second was an incident involving 2 girls while we were ice-skating. Again, skating around, not really paying attention and ran into each other, ones head collided with the others chin, there was blood, there was a trip to the hospital... fun times had by all!!

The Rock Pool at Townsville that the kids needed to be convinced was safe to swim!
A day trip to Paluma Rainforest with a swim along the way.
Canoeing over on Magnetic Island
The trip was action packed with activities, visits to the Museums, the Zoo, meeting The Cowboys and The Crocs (Basketball team), and many first-time experiences for many of them. Hopefully it's one that they remember as well.

Linking with Ms Mystery Case for Words on Wednesday (because being Wordless do this A to Z challenge is not really possible!!)

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